Wordfire Press will publish my novel Banshees, about a satanic rock band that returns from the dead. Banshees began life as a comic book proposal. Each time I revised the proposal it got thicker and deeper until I realized I had a novel on my hands. I struggled for thirty years to write novels and all I produced were big piles of shit. Something happened during my dark period when I moved to Colorado to keep my late wife alive and took such jobs as unloading automobile bumpers and packaging mouse pads. It flushed me clean of all the extraneous impediments to writing, including word cleverness, wrong turns and faulty digressions. As I was writing Banshees it hit me. Holy shit. I’ve got it.
I don’t talk much about writing on Facebook. I don’t think writers should talk about their work unless they’re giving interviews or talking to readers. I talk about Banshees because I want people to know about it. I’ve never been good at self-promotion. Thank God I have friends like my wife Ann, my publisher Kevin J. Anderson, and my agent Denise Dorman who are good at that sort of thing. Every would-be writer has a million words of bullshit clogging up his system and he has to get it out before he gets to the good stuff. I have written more than a million bullshit words, but not in a long time.
Once you absorb what it takes to write a novel it never leaves you. I surprised myself by writing horror. It’s not what I thought I’d write, but it crept up on me like an unseen presence in the dark. Film and novels are the two best mediums for horror, the former because it controls mood, sound and lighting, the latter because words can conjure that feeling of dread more successfully than any other medium.
Comics are the worst medium for horror because no matter how ghastly the story, you can always close the book and set it down. David Lapham’s Stray Bullets may be the exception to this rule because he writes about real horror in everyday life, and none of it is supernatural.
Decades of heavy metal, Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Twisted Sister and lurid tales of rock stars doing strange things inspired me to write Banshees, about a notorious heavy metal band who all died in a plane crash in 1974. Or did they?
Notorious for their satanic lyrics, drunken excess and rumors of blood sacrifice, the Banshees shocked the world with their only album Beat the Manshees. Death stalked their concerts–lightning, stabbings, overdoses. The world heaved a sigh of relief when the Banshees all died in a plane crash. Or did they? Forty years later, with no fanfare, they appear in a seedy Prague nightclub. Ian St. James, son of original Banshees drummer Oaian St. James, can’t believe his eyes. Ian’s attempts to get backstage nearly kill him.
In Crowd sends hot young reporter Connie Cosgrove to cover the Banshees along with that old burn-out Ian. Ian falls hard for the stunning Connie who regards him with a mixture of disgust and amusement. As if!
The Banshees phenomenon goes viral–are they real or is it all a brilliant publicity stunt? Every time Banshees play someone dies. Is it bad luck or part of some diabolical plan? As Connie and Ian dig into the Banshees’ past they find disturbing links to black magic, the Russian mob and an ancient Druidic sect.
Death only adds to their mystique as the Banshees steamroll across North America toward a triumphant appearance at LA’s Pacific Auditorium. Ian finally grasps the real reason they’ve returned–to tear a rift between our world and a monstrous evil– a rift created by an infernal machine built into Pacific Stadium and powered by human flesh.